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When to Outsource or Upgrade E-Commerce Fulfillment

Each year during the holiday season, we experience a surge in interest from e-commerce businesses looking to switch fulfillment partners.

Some of the most common reasons e-commerce businesses look to switch fulfillment partners this time of year include:

  • Plans to expand in the coming year and need a partner that offers end-to-end fulfillment services, including international shipping, for example.
  • Frustrations with pricing and / or customer service requests with their current partner.
  • Re-evaluates and audits 2021 vendors as part of 2022 planning.
  • Issues with integrations among storefronts and systems.

For e-commerce businesses looking to outsource fulfillment for the first time, many cite the challenges of the holiday season as the reason they decided to work with a fulfillment partner.

Below, we’ll cover how outsourcing fulfillment can help your business grow during the holiday season–and beyond.

If you’ve been outsourcing for a while now and are evaluating your current vendor, click here to skip over the benefits of outsourcing for the first time, and go straight to what you should look for in a new fulfillment partner.

Benefits of Outsourcing E-Commerce Fulfillment

Save Time and Energy

Your role is to ensure the success of your e-commerce business. So, if you find yourself abandoning core tasks to handle order fulfillment, your time is not being used to the fullest extent.

Likewise, if employees are being pulled from their primary roles to help with order fulfillment, their energy and expertise are being underutilized as well.

When a reliable and responsive e-commerce fulfillment partner steps in, everyone at your business can focus on doing what they do best.

>>>Related Resource: 4 Common Challenges E-Commerce Businesses Face With Fulfillment.

Streamline Inventory Management

Managing inventory during peak season can be extremely overwhelming. Have SKU’s been assigned properly? Do you know where everything is stored? How much of each item is currently in stock? Is that enough for the holiday season? How will you handle exchanges and returns?

An e-commerce fulfillment partner can proactively manage inventory to ensure ready-to-ship items are always in stock. GLF takes things a step further with our sophisticated inventory management system that integrates directly with your storefront to provide real-time data, as well as customized reporting based on your needs.

>>>Related Resource: Learn how GLF easily integrates with your storefront for inventory management.

Worry-Free Warehousing

You know you’ve outgrown your space when inventory is stored in hallways, offices or even the garage. You could rent or purchase a warehouse, but if you’ve crunched the numbers, you already know that it’s a significant investment.

By outsourcing, your inventory will be received, sent through a rigorous QA process, then carefully organized and stored in your fulfillment partner’s warehouse.

>>>Related Resource: Learn how your inventory is stored, picked and packed from GLF’s warehouse.

Expedite Delivery Times and Reduce Shipping Costs

During the holidays, fast delivery at a low cost isn’t a value-add; it’s a must-offer as far as shoppers are concerned. This is why working with an end-to-end e-commerce fulfillment partner can be extremely beneficial to your business. GLF has a comprehensive network of shipping partners and can provide your business with turnkey access to our global distribution network. As experts in domestic and international shipping, we’ll help you find the optimal shipping solution for your business.

>>>Related Resource: Read the full list of services and capabilities that an end-to-end fulfillment partner can provide.

Avoid the Hassle of Returns and Exchanges 

Handling returns and exchanges can be a major resource drain, especially when handled in-house. Without the right processes in place, it can also be a logistical nightmare.

We know that fast returns and exchanges are an important part of the customer experience. At GLF, we handle the entire process as well as the following:

  • Document why the item was exchanged or returned.
  • Restock the item.
  • Prioritize returned products in good condition, so they can go back out the door.

These are just some of the benefits of outsourcing e-commerce fulfillment. Keep reading to learn more about what to look for in a fulfillment partner.

Benefits of Switching E-Commerce Fulfillment Partners

No matter the reason you’re looking to switch your fulfillment vendor, it’s important to find a partner that prioritizes and specializes in the areas outlined below.

GLF_EcommerceFulfillment

Transparent Pricing

Feel like you’re constantly being overcharged by your current fulfillment vendor? Frustrated by hidden or convoluted fees? GLF’s transparent approach to pricing is one of the main reasons businesses switch their fulfillment operations to us. There are no hidden costs and you’ll always know exactly what to expect with our simple, “all-in” pricing.

>>>Related Resource: Learn what fees to expect and the benefits of working with a partner who provides transparent pricing.

Get Up and Running Quickly 

Many fulfillment companies have cumbersome implementation processes that can take three to four weeks. In just 24 to 48 hours, GLF can get you up and running in our system and fully integrated before your inventory even arrives at our warehouse.

Once set up, you have immediate access to your data including orders, exchanges and returns – and that brings us to our next point.

Advanced Software and Integrations

Our proprietary, cloud-based platform integrates with your storefront and connects your business to our supply chain and seamlessly integrates with hundreds of storefronts, including:

GLF’s fully-loaded platform comes complete with robust customizable reporting features that give full visibility into inventory levels, order status, shipment costs and more. Having comprehensive reports at your fingertips allows for data-driven insights–both for real-time oversight and future forecasting.

But just like there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for shipping, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for software. That’s why, unlike traditional e-commerce fulfillment partners, GLF has an in-house development team ready to create custom solutions within the platform so your business is perfectly synced with ours.

Comprehensive Quality Assurance

There is little-to-no room for error in e-commerce and quality assurance is key to happy customers. This is why QA is a top priority for the team at GLF. We carefully inspect all items as they arrive at our warehouse to look for any signs of damage or flaws. Only items that pass this first round of QA get stocked in their designated place (shelves, bins or pallets), labeled with a unique SKU and entered into our inventory management system.

As orders come in, our fulfillment team reviews the order prior to picking and does one final check before packaging for distribution.

Choose GLF as Your E-Commerce Fulfillment Partner

Ready to upgrade from your current fulfillment vendor or outsource fulfillment for the first time?

Since every business is different, GLF provides a dedicated account manager who takes the time upfront to learn your business and work with you as a proactive partner to create personalized solutions that sync with your processes. From finding the perfect shipping solution to building custom features in our software, GLF offers unparalleled customer service throughout the year – not just during the holidays.

Contact us today to learn how we can help your business grow.

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